KANSAS CITY — When six inductees enter the American Society of Baking’s (ASB) Baking Hall of Fame in March, the number of bakers, allies and baking professionals being recognized for their lifetime achievements breaks the 100 mark, which is more than symbolic for Rowdy Brixey, chairman of the Baking Hall of Fame Evaluation Committee and president of Brixey Engineering Inc.
“If you walk into any grocery store and look at what baked goods are on the shelves or go into any commercial bakery and see the equipment that’s making those products, you can pretty much attribute most of what you’re seeing to those 103 people who have entered the Baking Hall of Fame,” he said. “Some people think the Baking Hall of Fame is irrelevant in regard to these individuals and the impact they made in the industry, but just go into a store with this list of 103 people in front of you, and you’re seeing companies like Entenmann’s, Pepperidge Farm, Grupo Bimbo’s and Flowers Foods’ brands represented everywhere you look.”
This year’s honorees are Frederick E. Cooper, Flowers Foods and CooperSmith Inc.; Joseph M. Day, Joseph M. Day Co. and Banner Engineering & Sales Inc.; Harold Flynn, Flynn Burner Corp.; G. Michael Gude, Sosland Publishing Co.; and Louis Rotella Sr. and Louis Rotella Jr., Rotella’s Italian Bakery Inc.
The Baking Hall of Fame dates to 2006, when then ASB Chairman Gary Brodsky shared his vision with the society to recognize those individuals whose achievements transformed the baking industry. Mr. Brixey said it’s the inspiration from Mr. Brodsky, who was inducted into the hall in 2019, that still guides the committee today.